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News February 2024

Kinstellar reinforces its capabilities in Uzbekistan with the appointment of Kamilla Khamraeva as Counsel

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that Kamilla Khamraeva has joined the firm’s Tashkent office as Counsel. Kamilla focuses on Banking & Finance and the Energy and Infrastructure sectors. Kamilla is an experienced lawyer with a strong track record implementing some of the major and most sophisticated projects in Uzbekistan in recent years. She has also been involved in regional initiatives overseeing mandates in Turkmenistan, collaborating with local firms/lawyers on the ground. During her legal career she has advised the IFC, ADB, EBRD, Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Credit Suisse, MUFG, SACE and others in various transactions. Kamilla often works closely with lenders on structuring bespoke transactions to

Insights October 2023

Uzbekistan introduces a new legal framework to govern competition within commodity and financial markets

On 3 July 2023, the President of Uzbekistan signed the Law No. ЗРУ- 850 “[o]n competition” (the “New Law”), which comes into force on 4 October 2023, replacing the law on competition No. ЗРУ-319 dated 6 January 2012 (the “Old Law”). The New Law (i) defines new criteria for identifying a dominant market position, (ii) introduces the concept of superior bargaining power, (iii) sets out antimonopoly compliance requirements for certain business entities, (iv) clarifies the requirements for obtaining preliminary consent for certain transactions, and (v) imposes financial sanctions for violations of the New Law. Antimonopoly Compliance The New Law introduces the concept of antimonopoly compliance

Deals June 2023

Kinstellar assists OTP Bank with completing its first acquisition in Central Asia

As previously announced, in December 2022 Kinstellar advised OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest commercial bank and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe, on the successful acquisition of Uzbekistan’s fifth-largest bank, Ipoteka Bank. Kinstellar has continued advising OTP Bank to reach another significant milestone in the transaction, as OTP Bank has completed the first closing of the transaction, i.e. the acquisition of a 73.71% stake in Ipoteka Bank from the state. With the transaction, OTP has become the first foreign lender to participate in the privatisation of Uzbekistan's banking sector. In the next step of the transaction, the remaining shares of Ipoteka Bank

Insights May 2023

Uzbekistan introduces amendments to banks’ capitalisation requirements and liberalises access to their ownership by non-residents

On 19 April 2023, the President of Uzbekistan signed law No. ЗРУ-831, which came into force on 20 April 2023 and introduced changes to the law “[o]n banks and banking activities” (the “Amended Banking Law”).  Law on Banking The Amended Banking Law (i) increases the minimum charter capital requirement for banks and (ii) lifts certain restrictions on ownership of bank shares by non-residents of Uzbekistan. Increased charter capital requirements The Amended Banking Law increases the requirements for the minimum amount of charter capital of banks in Uzbekistan from UZS 100 billion to UZS 500 billion (from approximately USD 8,780,000 to USD 43,898,000 as of 1 May 2023) within the following timeline: 

Deals April 2023

Kinstellar advises on an IFI-financed pharma sector acquisition in Uzbekistan

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that it has advised a holding company of a leading Ukrainian pharmaceutical company, YURiA PHARM, on the two-stage acquisition of a pharmaceutical company in Uzbekistan. The acquisition, which was supported by financing from an international financial institution, will enable Yuria Pharm to maintain exports despite the war, localise and increase production in Uzbekistan as well as allocate more critical medicine to the market in Ukraine. Our team undertook comprehensive due diligence and advised on transactional, corporate governance, regulatory, anti-trust as well as financing-related and other matters. Kinstellar’s team was led by Sherzod Yunusov, Partner, with the support

Deals February 2023

Kinstellar advises Silk Road Fund on the acquisition of a 49% stake in the Sirdarya CCGT power plant in Uzbekistan

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that it has successfully advised Silk Road Fund, a development and investment fund established under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, on the acquisition of a 49% stake in the 1.5 GW Sirdarya combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility in Uzbekistan. ACWA Power will retain a 51% stake in the facility. JSC “National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan” will be the sole off-taker under the project for a period of 25 years. Located in Shirin, southern Uzbekistan, the project will support the Republic of Uzbekistan in providing cost-effective and energy efficient power solutions for the nearby communities and eliminate 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Once

Insights May 2022

Uzbekistan liberalizes regulatory framework for mining of crypto-assets

On 27 April 2022, the President of Uzbekistan signed decree No. UP-121 (the “Decree”), which (i) reorganized the National Agency for Project Management into the National Agency of Perspective Projects (the “Agency”) and authorizing it to regulate circulation of crypto-assets in Uzbekistan (covering issuance, registration, and circulation of crypto-assets by residents of Uzbekistan), and (ii) established a special regulatory regime in the sphere of crypto-asset circulation. According to the Decree, only legal entities are entitled to engage in mining[1] of crypto-assets[2] in Uzbekistan, following compulsory e-registration with the Agency. Mining of crypto-assets does not require obtaining a license. The Decree

Insights April 2022

Data Privacy Concerns in the Metaverse. May the privacy be with us!

All of us have concerns regarding data privacy in the metaverse. Countless questions come to mind, such as: What is the metaverse? Can a digital personality be considered as personal data? What happens if digital data is processed? In this short article we touch on the metaverse’s main data privacy concerns.  What is the metaverse? The metaverse is a virtual world that relies on multiple technologies such as virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, etc. There is no longer just one world like the real world anymore. A new virtual-world era has begun with the advent of different metaverses such as Horizon, Decentraland, Sandbox, and Upland, and it appears that their number will continue to increase.

Insights January 2022

Uzbekistan reinforces legal framework for privatization of land

On 15 November 2021, the President of Uzbekistan signed the law No.ЗРУ-728 “[on] privatization of non-agricultural land plots”, which entered into force on 16 November 2021 (the “Law”) and which abolished the earlier adopted law No.ЗРУ-552 dated 13 August 2019. The Law covers privatization of land plots (the “Land Plots”) that are not allocated for agricultural needs and not intended for these purposes.   In addition to vacant Land Plots, the Law stipulates that the following types of Land Plots can be privatized: Land Plots provided to legal entities for entrepreneurial and urban development activities; Land Plots provided to citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan for individual

Deals November 2021

Kinstellar advises the joint-lead managers on the USD 700 million debut Eurobond of Uzbekneftegaz

Kinstellar is pleased to announce that our team in Taskent has advised the joint-lead managers—Bank GPB, Citi, J.P. Morgan and MUFG—on the debut USD-denominated Eurobond, with a tenor of seven years, of the Uzbek state-owned oil and gas producer Uzbekneftegaz. The proceeds will be used by Uzbekneftegaz to refinance existing indebtedness and for several proposed large-scale investment projects in the country. The Kinstellar team was led by Joel Benjamin (Partner) and Muborak Kambarova (Counsel), with assistance of Associates Iroda Sadikova, Kamilla Ubaydullaeva and Legal Assistant Sabina Sharipova.

Insights November 2021

Spotlight on Uzbekistan: Kinstellar’s regular look at the Uzbek market - November 2021

This issue covers the following topics:  Uzbekistan sets to improve contracting processes Uzbekistan takes further steps to accelerate geological exploration Uzbekistan sets to improve contracting processes On September 14, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan signed the Decree No. УП-6313 “[o]n fundamental improvements in contractual relations” (the “Decree”). According to the Decree: 1. Starting from 1 December 2021, certain matters will be released from regulatory control allowing parties freedom of contract, as the Decree abolished: the previous ban imposed on commercial banks restricting processing of payments for delivered goods, works, and services

News October 2021

Kinstellar strengthens its team in Uzbekistan with the appointment of Sherzod Yunusov as Partner

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that Sherzod Yunusov has joined the firm’s Tashkent office as Partner. His joining the firm bolsters our team’s capabilities in Uzbekistan and particularly our expertise in the energy and infrastructure sectors and project finance. Sherzod Yunusov has expertise and an established track record handling a wide array of matters related to oil and gas transactions (including exploration and gas production; production sharing agreements; development of fields; design and construction of infrastructure projects; gas transportation and processing; plant operation; sales of gas; and project finance), renewables (solar and wind), and infrastructure projects. He also advises on restructurings